Weymouth by Debbie Sargent Sullivan and Erica Jill Dumont by Debbie Sargent Sullivan and Erica Jill Dumont - Read Online

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Weymouth - Debbie Sargent Sullivan

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INTRODUCTION

Weymouth, Massachusetts, is a town similar to many other coastal towns, yet it has an undeniably unique character. From the beginning, Weymouth was a town of ambitious go-getters. In 1622, Weymouth, then called Wessagusset, was settled by a small group of Englishmen searching for economic opportunity. As time moved on, Weymouth became a quintessential New England agrarian community with farms, several villages, and two meetinghouses.

In the 19th century, Weymouth grew to become one of New England’s preeminent shoe manufacturing centers. Companies both large and small sprung up all over town, employing thousands of people and selling shoes all over the country. Some of these companies operated well into the 20th century. Other businesses flourished too; listings for variety stores, lumber dealers, carriage makers, and grocers can be found in the town’s annual directories.

Despite the economic vitality of the town, Weymouth’s people did not live by the motto of all work and no play. The town had its fair share of vacation spots. Whether it was on the sands in North Weymouth or in the shades of The Birches, Weymouth’s people found time and resources for recreational pursuits.

In the 20th century, Weymouth grew in numbers, and homes began to spring up all over the place. Neighborhoods were developed, schools were built, and businesses continued to flourish. Today, Weymouth is home to over 50,000 people and is more vivacious than ever before.

Weymouth’s unique character is found both in the present and the past. Although its old homes and quaint storefronts are seamlessly mixed with trappings of modern life, they tell the story of Weymouth in years gone by. The following pages will highlight just a few examples of how Weymouth has changed and how it has stayed the same over the course of time.

CHAPTER 1

NORTH WEYMOUTH

Bradley Fertilizer Company, the largest fertilizer works in the country, stood where the WeymouthPort Condominiums now stand. It was established in the 1870s by Peter B. Bradley, who owned hundreds of acres of land in Hingham. The company’s campus eventually became self-reliant, with its workers living on-site, and stores, blacksmiths, and other businesses serving the inhabitants. It employed between 1,200 and 1,400 people. (Courtesy of Don Cormack.)